September’s Stack Magazine arrived sooner than I expected and I was presented with a glossy Screen Shot publication. The magazine explores the issues and challenges that are currently vexing the world’s urban young. Global concerns such as environment, technology and urbanisation are common themes across this edition, with individual stories taking fresh perspectives on these familiar topics.
It is 112 pages of some of the best trending articles they have been published online, coupled with brand new content exclusive to this particular issue. I imagine the aim for the publication is to allow the readers to stay ahead of the curve, staying close to innovation and forward-thinking outcomes supported by knowledge of their impact.
I found the article about co-living fascinating as it is something I am currently experiencing myself. The concept has recently been turned into an innovative way of using urban space and offers a new and specific living experience. To me, it is all about sharing the right amount of space with the right amount of people. The majority of the time co-living connects you to the community, as well as being inspired by the architecture and people around you. Having said this, it is a concept that at the minute that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I do believe however that co-living has a great future and one that is made up of shared spaces, communal experiences and a bit of time alone. This last point is the most important part for me; I like to have a thoughtfully designed private space that I can retreat to at the end of a day.
I couldn't believe when I read that the idea of a 3D printed village is underway. According to New Story, the machine will print homes that are affordable, resilient and sustainable. It has apparently already created a low-cost house in Texas in less than 24 hours by piping layers of concrete, with only a roof and windows needing to be added at the end. While the idea of 3D printed houses sounds promising, to me it is rather worrying. Technological innovation continues to amaze me and shows that we will soon be able to accomplish more with the help of these printers. However, the first thing I thought of was the diminishing need for any kind of craftsmanship as well as less employment. We'll have to see if these houses last the test of time, but if they create more affordable, appropriate houses that are designed with greater social and environmental impact they could really transform how communities are built today.
The imagery spanning the whole print is often abstract, possibly intended to provoke the reader, giving a unique perspective of the subject matter, rather than showing pictures of the people, places and organisations mentioned. These are not only visually exciting, but offer another way to broaden the scope of the magazine’s reach and potential. There is also mainly a soft colour palette throughout which is easy on the eye and made the copy seen even more inviting and comfortable to read, similarly creating a safe space where thoughts and opinions are freely shared.
I was also inspired by their use of typography, especially on their title pages. They use overlapping copy, interesting compositions, sizes, use of direction and outline only text to emphasise key phases that adds another level of engagement for the reader. I personally would not have previously attempted some of their unusual combinations and copy placement, however I really believe it has an impact and one that visually presents the desired facts.
What I enjoyed the most about the magazine was the fact that the current affairs stories included are written from a completely different angle than in the mainstream and in a way that is accessible to a wider audience, without the technical jargon. It has been executed in a way that appeals to today's generation of readers, providing the audience with engaging micro-content scattered throughout the issue, as well as slightly longer-form opinion pieces. The micro-pieces are all concentrated with blasts of facts and statistics and stimulating thought.
This is the first time that I have read a magazine from cover to cover. Being a visual first person, I only tend to read articles that appeal to my interest. Therefore this just shows the extent to which I found the publication fascinating, both educationally and visually. I have since signed up to their newsletter to get Screen Shot in my mailbox every single week. I feel that this will be a perfect way to receive a summarised outlook of what is happing technologically, politically and culturally, as well as an insight into future advancements and visual culture. I am looking forward to being digitally fed with more stories that are honest, address questions on morality and ethics, and which continue to spark my curiosity further.